Feature Article

SL cabinet decides to abolish Tamil version of ‘national anthem’

[TamilNet, Sunday, 12 December 2010, 13:32 GMT]
The first cabinet meeting convened by Sri Lanka president Mahinda Rajapaksa after returning from London decided to abolish the Tamil version of Sri Lanka’s national anthem, Sunday Times reports. The ‘shortcoming’ of having two national anthems should be rectified and in no other country was the national anthem used in more than one language, Mahinda Rajapaksa told his cabinet Wednesday. The Tamil version of the national anthem of Ceylon and later Sri Lanka was adopted in 1948 at the time of the so-called independence. It was an exact translation of the Sinhala original, sung in the same tune. Supporting Rajapaksa, minister Wimal Weerawansa said that even in neighbouring India, where around 300 languages were used, the national anthem was only in Hindi. But the SL minister was ignorant of the fact that the national anthem of India is in Bengali.

After the war Mahinda Rajapaksa is completely naked in his genocidal agenda in proving that two nations cannot coexist in one country in the island and the international community should make no mistakes any further in getting the message when Rajapaksa says "We must all think of Sri Lanka as one country," said a Tamil politician in Colombo.

The Tamil version of the so-called national anthem was a translation of the Sinhala original of Anada Samaracone by Muthuthamizh Pulavar M. Nallathambi. It had parallel validity in the official functions. It was used in the North and East and in the Tamil schools.

But Tamils have lost their feelings towards any ‘national anthem’ of Sri Lanka long back, and the Sinhalese have forgotten that there was a parallel Tamil version. According to Rajapaksa, when Sirimao Bandaranayake was prime minister, she walked away from a function in the north when the ‘national anthem’ was sung in Tamil.

Some years ago, when some diaspora Tamil members sung the national anthem in Tamil, in a function at a Sri Lankan diplomatic mission, the Sinhalese diaspora opposed that it was an LTTE anthem and the Tamil High Commissioner had a great difficulty in handling the situation.

The national anthem of India is a poem of the Nobel laureate, Rabindranath Tagore. Both the national anthems of India and Bangladesh are Tagore’s poetry in Bengali.

Meanwhile, “Sri Lanka is moving in the right direction”, the Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Menon Rao was cited by media after her visit to Jaffna, and Indian National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon who had an important hand in deciding the course of the crimes-riddled war in the island spoke this week about “home-grown solution” there.

The two cabinet ministers, who opposed the move of Rajapaksa on ‘national anthem’ in the cabinet meeting Wednesday, were Mr. Vasudeva Nanayakara and Mr Rajitha Senaratne.


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